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Amazon Simple Storage Service

Amazon Simple Storage Service Price Guide

AWS pricing is incredibly complex and can result in some users overblowing their budgets very easily. Amazon does have tools for predicting prices and controlling them, though there is a learning curve to it. This is a guide on what controls there are for Amazon Simple Storage Service’s spending.

What is the Simple Storage Service?

The Simple Storage Service (S3) is a scalable object storage service that can hold different data types, offers excellent performance, and has several security features that can keep storage buckets’ contents safe from outages and breaches. Several features come integrated into this service that cover ease-of-use, access controls, compliance, and, most importantly, costs.  Users who want to test S3 first can gain access to limited features through AWS’s free Tier offering. For the first year after an account’s activation, users get 5GB of storage, 20,000 get requests per month, 15GB of transfer storage, and 2,000 put requests.

Several factors control how much the service costs with use:

  • The total gigabytes of data in storage.
  • The number of retrieval requests the user initiates. This includes SELECT, GET LIST, POST, COPY, and PUT.
  • Data transfer modes and regions.
  • The number of storage management/analytics tools used.
  • The number of data replications conducted across regions and time.
  • Transforming data between classes and doing queries.
  • The amount of data handled by S3 Object Lambda - which processes and modifies
  • data between storage and the app
  • Server locations across AWS Regions and Availability Zones can also impact rates.
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S3 Storage Classes

Prices vary even further depending on how long the user wants the data kept in an S3 bucket and the type of bucket the user has.  Most of the classes are designed for longer-term storage, with significant cost savings for those willing to dedicate data to deep storage.

S3 Standard Storage

This is the baseline rate all users will pay if they do not change the storage type. It is flexible in what users use it for because of its high throughput and low latency. This is also the storage type that Amazon provides with the Free Tier. Unlike the other storage types, Standard is priced based on how much data is stored.
$0.023/GB per month for up to 50 TB

$0.022/GB for 50 - 450 TB

$0.021/GB for above 500 TB

S3 Standard - Infrequent Access

Designed primarily for occasional access, this option works great for data sets that don’t need to be retrieved as often. However, data can be retrieved quickly in cases of emergencies.
$0.0125/GB per month

S3 One Zone - Infrequent Access

This is the alternate storage option for fast access but low availability. Unlike the standard option, data stored through Infrequent Access is kept in at least three different availability zones in the user’s chosen region or regions. Because of the limited availability, Amazon charges 20% less than Standard Infrequent Access.
$0.01/GB per month

S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval

Glacier does provide long-term with rare access in mind storage for Infrequent Access while retaining the same throughput and speed of Standard Access. Storage costs can be upwards of 68% cheaper than the Standard Infrequent Access. Users can upload objects directly into S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval or use S3 Lifecycle policies to automatically load data into cheaper S3 storage classes that will be needed less frequently.
Starting as low as $0.004/GB per month depending on the region of choice 

S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval

Flexible Retrieval shaves off an additional 10% from Instant Retrieval’s price tag for archive data that doesn’t require millisecond retrieval periods. This class is exceptional at long-term storage and bulk data retrieval and is often used for making backups and disaster recovery options. Because of the deeper storage conditions, retrievals take anywhere from a few minutes to 12 hours to complete.
$0.0036/GB per month 

S3 Glacier Deep Archive

For even longer-term storage, Deep Archive offers the highest savings rate among the other Glacier storage types. By comparison, data retrieval is guaranteed to take the longest out of all the options, making this far from ideal for frequently used data.
$0.00099/GB per month

S3 Intelligent Tiering

For data sets that need to be occasionally moved from deeper storage tiers, Intelligent-Tiering will make S3 Lifecycles depending on data usage patterns.  Retrieval is free.

$0.023/GB per month for data transferred to and from Standard Storage

$0.00099/GB per month for data moved to and from Deep Archive Access

$0.0025 for every 1,000 objects moved per month for monitoring costs

S3 Storage pricing

Non-storage Cost Factors

Requests and Data Retrieval

These types of costs all fall under the same umbrella. Any requests outside of what is allowed through the Free Tier will add to storage costs depending on the tier of storage, request type, and the volume of the requested data.

  • $0.005/1,000 requests from Standard Storage
  • $0.01/1,000 requests from Standard Infrequent Access
  • Upwards of $0.05/1,000 requests from Glacier Deep Archive
  • Delete and Cancel operations are always free

Data Transfers

Users who transfer up to 1GB or less monthly aren’t charged. Charges will apply depending on the volume of data transferred, the intended destination, and data transfer speeds.

  • $0.09/GB for up to 9.999 TB per month
  • $0.085/GB for 10 - 50 TB per month
  • $0.07/GB for 50 - 150 TB per month
  • $0.05/GB for quantities over 150 TB per month
  • Accelerating data transfers costs $0.04/GB

Management and Analytics

This includes functions that would typically affect Storage costs.

  • $0.20/1,000,000 objects through S3 Storage Lense
  • $0.10/1,000,000 items monitored per month through S3 Analytics Storage Class
  • $0.0025/1,000,000 objects listed through S3 Inventory

Data Replication

Replication is typically treated the same as just occupying another bucket since the resources needed to copy the data from one bucket to another are the same. Replication in the same region is the cheapest, with cross-region replications usually spiking in price, coming with associated data transfers.

Object Lambda

Object Lambda is built to be woven into existing applications to help organize inserted data, converting it into a format that can be easily viewed and processed by other systems or applications.

  • $0.005/GB of data handled

Closing Thoughts

Amazon S3 is one of the more essential services on AWS.  It’s what users will be using for all of their storage needs with the flexibility to modify data and keep it safe from interruptions.  If budgetary constraints are a continued concern for your AWS operations, we are certified AWS experts and we are more than open for consultation on your AWS needs. 

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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